I often ask myself this question as I monitor the progress of my clients. My training program provides me with the ability to monitor the scores and results of my clients, and it’s always nice to see a new client climb their way to the top of the list. Yet there are others who start off in the bottom 20% and stay there month after month.
As a coach and trainer this troubles me and has led me to incorporate accountability tools into my training program. But, no matter how good the solution or product, change only happen when effort is put forth. You will not get physically fit by simply purchasing a gym membership. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to make a difference.
Dealers often waste thousands of dollars to procure solution after solution with hopes of increasing automobile sales. Vendors claim their products will help you sell more vehicles, however, if not used properly the investment becomes another needless expense added to your bottom line.
How many of you have the latest and greatest CRM tool, yet your sales team doesn’t use the tool as intended?
How many of you spend thousands of dollars on advertising, yet your salespeople are not trained to properly handle a phone call?
What about the Internet leads that generally go unattended for hours before a salesperson decides to respond? And if they do respond quickly, it’s typically just enough to satisfy the expectations of the manufacturer. Simply throwing money at a problem does not solve the problem.
Do you want to be great in 2011?
Well it all starts with the captain of the ship. If it’s not on your radar screen it certainly won’t be on the minds of your employees. Do you want to drive positive change in your dealership? Why not start by putting a well thought out process in place? Explain the process, provide training on the process and demand results. Then, monitor and manage the process and hold your staff accountable.
Failure to execute should result in the execution of ones employment (?).
Staff who have been trained but still don’t meet expectations should be replaced. There is no reason to settle for people who just want to be mediocre, including General Managers.
Success in this industry is generally very well compensated. Parting ways with underachievers sends a clear message to your employees. “Be the best at what you do or we’ll find somebody who will.” Getting rid of slackers makes room for superstars and leaders should always be on the lookout for the next superstar.
Bringing competitive people into your business will increase competition among your current employees and, ultimately increase sales.
Consider tying compensation to more than just units sold. For example, if you pay a salesperson 20% commission on sales, consider holding 5% percent back. In order to be eligible for the other 5%, require employees to meet certain expectations like the ones below:
- Maintain a minimum CSI score of 95%
- Customer e-mail collection rate of 75% or higher
- Log a minimum of 50 new prospects in your CRM each month
- Remain current with manufacturer training expectations
- Maintain a Phone-up Ninja score of 2.5 or higher on Phone-ups
- Schedule 20 solid appointments per month.
Criteria such as these are critical to the success of your dealership and should be modified as needed based on your goals.
Consider starting with some simple goals and as the bar is raised, raise expectations. The pay plan of your managers should reflect these goals. For those who do not meet the criteria and collect their 5%, give the money to the top three performers in your dealership as an added bonus. Start rewarding those who are driving the majority of sales. Salespeople are coin operated, so manage your pay plans accordingly.
Many of you had a profitable 2010 and perhaps that was due to the processes you have in place, or the hard work of your employees. However, some of you may have prospered simply because you were open for business and our industry saw more buyers this past year.
What if we experience another dismal year like 2008? Now ask yourself this question,”How satisfied am I with the way my operation is currently running? What can I do differently that would allow me to sell more vehicles? How can I provide my customers with a better shopping experience?” Make a list of your areas for improvement, build a process, and get to work!
With that said, what are some of the process you have in place now that have been successful for your dealership?